LETTER: Libraries for Profit?

Often it happens behind closed doors.


All across the country, city councils are making decisions about privatizing their public libraries. Often this happens behind closed doors, with very little community input and without a full understanding of how library services could be affected or even what a 21st-century public library means to the community.

In early July, I will be testifying in Sacramento about the importance of preserving library services by ensuring that taxpayer library funds are used for services in the community and not as profit for any private company. I will be asking California Senators to support AB 438 which will:

  • Ensure that our PUBLIC libraries are run by dedicated, professional, and experienced staff that have been serving our communities for years.
  • Protect the voice of communities in the future of their PUBLIC libraries.
  • Guarantee transparency and accountability.

Before I testify, I need your help. Please call or email the following six legislators and let them know you want them to support public libraries by voting to approve AB 438 which will guarantee transparency and accountability of taxpayer funds in the running of public libraries.

Senator Lois Wolk
Phone: (916) 651-4005
Email: senator.wolk@senate.ca.gov

Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Phone: (916) 651-4007
Email: senator.desaulnier@sen.ca.gov

Senator Loni Hancock
Phone: (916) 651-4009
Email: senator.hancock@sen.ca.gov

Senator Ed Hernandez
Phone: (916) 651-4024
Email: senator.hernandez@sen.ca.gov

Senator Christine Kehoe
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Email: senator.kehoe@sen.ca.gov

Senator Carol Liu
Phone: (916) 651-4021
Email: senator.liu@sen.ca.gov

Thank you for helping preserve public library services!

Cindy Singer
Community Library Manager, Los Angeles County

SEIU Beast June 28, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Don't believe SEIU's lies. AB 438 is an anti-library measure. Patrons will lose as library hours are reduced, libraries close, and layoffs continue. Before you act, read this www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_18217065. Then call your Senator and tell them to vote NO! AB438 takes away options for cities just as state and local budgets are being slashed, leading to decreased library access for patrons. AB438 has nothing to do with increasing access to libraries and services. It is about protecting union bosses and keeping dues flowing. AB438 will mean that more libraries will close, library hours will be reduced, and library workers will lose their jobs. No contract public libraries in California or anywhere else are ever “privatized.” Their operations are outsourced, similar to many other local government services such as technology, engineering, legal services, etc. All control of library operations and ownership of library assets remain with local government and library boards. Do your own research. Call or email any of the 43 PUBLIC libraries in California that are contract operated and find out the truth. Speak with the librarians, Friends of the Library Groups, or city officials. Don’t be fooled by union propaganda! Libraries should be run by their communities, not controlled by union bosses! NO ON AB438!!!
Carol Lambert July 08, 2011 at 04:26 AM
I agree, AB438 deserves to be voted down. It is really a bill against LSSi or any other company that can do the same job of operating libraries at a lesser cost. In this time of limited funding cities must work to maintain their library, hours of operation,collections and programming. These companies that contract with the cities to run their libraries have Professional Librarians and frequently hire many of the Libraries previous staff. This bill is not thinking about preserving the libraries instead it's focus is preserving the staff even if some libraries must close, or reduce hours or days of operation.


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